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2023 FIBA World Cup

Quezon City window of World Cup Qualifiers to be held behind closed doors


Gilas Pilipinas won’t have its ‘sixth man’ for the FIBA World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers’ February window at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Executive Director Renauld ‘Sonny’ Barrios said that fans aren’t still allowed to watch live, a downer for a team who’s long banked on the crowd’s energy especially when on home floor.

“Wala po, ‘no,” said the long-time executive during a quick guest appearance in the Philippine Sportswriters’ Association Forum webcast, Tuesday.

This, according to Barrios, is based on their discussion with the Quezon City LGU when they sought permission for the hosting of the bubble.

“Dati-dati, nagpapaalam tayo sa PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) dahil hindi naman tayo professional league. Nagpapaalam tayo sa PSC as per JAO (Joint Administrative Order), and then IATF {Inter-Agency Task Force).

“Itong hosting natin ngayon, may third entity na kailangan nating pagpaalaman which is the LGU. So nagpaalam po tayo sa Quezon City. Ang sagot ho ng Quezon City, okay, pero wala tayo munang paying fans,” he explained.

However, there’s actually a glimmer of hope in having a live crowd in the venue. And that depends on how the coronavirus situation plays out.

Presently, Metro Manila and other locations nearby are placed under Alert Level 2 until February 15, with COVID-19 cases plateauing — the Department of Health on Tuesday reported only 3,574 infections.

“Tingnan natin kasi ‘di ba, ang update nila every 15 days? So ang umiiral ngayon, ‘yung advisory covering period February 1 to 15,” Barrios said.

“Tingnan natin ‘yung development sa 16 to end of February, which will cover the Qualifiers natin kung may pag-asa. Pero sa ngayon po, wala.”

But while they wait for any new development that could come out after the 15th, Barrios said that the federation is looking at the upcoming qualifiers as an opportunity to polish things for the World Cup hosting.

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Next year’s global conclave will be hosted by the Philippines, together with neighboring countries Indonesia and Japan.

“Maraming detalye ang kailangan asikasuhin,” he told the forum presented by San Miguel Corporation, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Unilever, and PAGCOR.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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